So You Want To Become A Blogger: What You Need To Know
Head bursting with ideas? Starting a blog could be one of the best decisions you can ever make, as long as you have the patience and know-how to nurture your baby and watch it grow.
While Tik-Toks and whacky video clips dominate our social media feeds, many people still take time to appreciate the written word, and there is still plenty of demand for good blogs.
You can create a blog for many reasons: to earn a living, add value to people’s life or hone your craft. But getting started often proves to be an intimidating process. Overwhelmed with options, feeling clueless and confused, we’ve found learning how to start a blog can churn up more questions than it solves.
In this article, we lay out the need-to-knows about blogging so you can get started with a clear head and sense of direction, including choosing a blogging platform to suit your needs, and staying consistent with a long-term content strategy.
Starting a blog is much easier than you think, so tune out all the noise and read on as we explore the key aspects of becoming a successful blogger.
Choose a blogging platform that suits your needs
Decided on a catchy name? Now it’s time to get your blog online — but deciding on a home for your blog can be a tricky process, especially if you’re not sure what you want.
On one hand, you have huge blogging sites like Medium; on the other, you get full scale content management systems like WordPress. Both are solid options, offering different levels of success depending on your blogging needs.
In this section we take a look at these fundamentally different blogging platforms and help determine which suits your needs the best.
Medium — a platform for sharing stories
What is Medium? Think of Medium as Twitter for longform content — an open platform where expert bloggers and newbies to the game can share their content.
With this blogging site, you can sign-up and start creating content right-away, meaning you don’t have to face the hassle of setting up your own website.
After giving Medium a test drive, here are some benefits it can offer to aspiring bloggers:
- Built-in audience: millions of people use Medium everyday and you can tap into this pre-existing audience, plus the site automatically connects you with Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
- Engagement analytics: content data on Medium is surprisingly in-depth, allowing you to see how long people stay on your blogs in comparison to a site average seven to 11 minutes.
- Potential to get discovered: many large publishers operate on Medium and are always talent-spotting for popular writers — could you get lucky and become a regular contributor?
Medium is a fantastic platform for bloggers looking for a simple way to put their content out on the web. However, because you don’t own the page, you’re building Medium’s domain authority rather than your own (which is something to think about if you want to optimise your articles for search and grow your online reputation).
Looking for a little more control and ownership of your blog, or want to incorporate SEO into your blogging strategy? Then you’re better off using a website builder, which is where WordPress comes into its own.
WordPress — the world’s most popular website builder
WordPress has its roots firmly planted in blogging, but nowadays this powerful website builder can just as easily add ecommerce functionality at the click of a button.
As a robust content management system (CMS), freedom is the name of the game — and unlike websites such as Medium, you have full control over your blog.
Here are the benefits of having your own WordPress site over blogging on other platforms:
- WordPress is customisable: you don’t have to be a tech wizard to customise your WordPress site — themes and plugins are easy to add which have custom functionality and can create unique appearances.
- WordPress is SEO-friendly: written using standard compliance high-quality code, search engines love WordPress, meaning you can optimise your blog to rank higher on Google (check out this bloggers’ guide to SEO for more detail).
- WordPress can handle different media: you aren’t limited to text, using the built-in media uploader and bespoke post-editor you can embed videos and images into your blogs without any fuss.
WordPress is ideal for bloggers who want more control of their content, and best of all it’s free. However, you will have to register a domain name and install an officially recommended web hosting tool like Bluehost, which can come at a price.
Plan a long-term content strategy helps you stay consistent
Right now you’re likely thrilled to be starting your blogging journey and see no end in sight — but what happens when you run out of blog post ideas and come face-to-face with the dreaded writer’s block?
Speaking from experience (and many sleepless nights), learn from countless failed blogs and don’t maintain your efforts on a whim. Instead, create a long-term content strategy to help navigate the pitfalls of professional writing and give your blog a sense of thematic direction.
A lot of work goes into creating just one piece of content, especially if you’re on a one-person mission. Planning a long-term content strategy provides the necessary framework to keep your blog efforts running like a well-oiled machine.
Don’t take my word for it — blogging veterans Hubspot corroborate this story by saying content creation needs a framework that is:
And to keep posting quality content on your blog, you should create a five step process:
- Conceptualise content
- Plan a timeline
- Create a workflow
- Review and edit content
- Organise and store content (on your platform of choice)
Blogging on a consistent basis is about building a process around your creativity. With this in mind, you’re well on your way to creating a successful content strategy that will help attract an audience to your blog.
Still want to become a blogger? Start things off as a hobby because you won’t make money right away, nor will you attract much attention when you first get the ball rolling — but if you’re patient, choose the right platform and stick to a robust content strategy, then your blog could soon make its mark on the web.